Sooooo – It’s my birthday today. Yes, yes, thank you to everyone who has and will wish me a beautiful day. I’m overwhelmingly grateful for all of you in my life, in one fashion or another, and know how special and rare some of our connections are. I’m truly humbled for that – and always will be.
I’d planned to post something I’ve been writing about my mom. I will do that. Just, not today. I realized this morning that if I didn’t write these words down STAT, I would be in danger of a full-scale psychic explosion. (As opposed to the many spastic tremors that have been shaking me up all morning.)
OK, so here’s the deal: I honestly didn’t think it possible that I could be even minutely sadder today than I have been for the past month. I thought that gravity could push one down only so far and that there would be some sort of quantum shifts that, if nothing else, removed the gravity or at least brushed it aside. Seriously. I thought that! And while I do, indeed, find myself in an entirely new dimension here, I didn’t consider I could possibly feel worse! Quantum shifts apparently are not what I’ve been led to believe!
You might think, “Are you in a bad place, dear, because you’re another year older?” Nope. That kind of angst has never been part of my makeup. In fact, I LOVE birthdays!! Am I upset that this is the first time in 26 years that I haven’t spent my birthday with my husband? Yeah – and while that sucks BIG time, it’s not necessarily tailspin material. My mom: sleeping away most of the day while we’re both pretty much held captive in the house, awaiting nurses and phone calls and a possible trip to the hospital? Again, suck-fest, but not a mind-blower. Missing a phone call from my brother, as he laments about not knowing what to get me, yet coming through 100% on the gift-o-meter? Sure, sure – that adds to the melancholia – however, all of these things added up still don’t seem to measure up to my cavernous pit of misery.
Now, if you think I didn’t throw myself a pretty pathetic pity-party, you’d be wrong. It was a short, but crazy, snot filled gala that fell just shy of me throwing myself on the ground and pounding the crap out of the floor. I mean, it’s my birthday and I’ll bitch and whine to myself (Oh – and now you) if I want to! Thankfully, I’m aware enough to recognize that hitting things in a fit of despair is most definitely not Self-love. And it’s certainly not something a wise woman of advanced years does if she has half a brain in her head.
So there I sat – and as quietly and calmly as I could – tuned fully into to my irregular and shallow breaths and let the disillusionment of life, as I’d been living it recently, waft slowly out of my pores. Drifting slowly away from my base, like water vapor floating upward when hot rays of light scorch the pavement after a summer rain.
Did the heat of awareness eradicate my sorrow? Of course not. What it did, however, was erase the shell of self-absorption I began to enclose my pain in. It allowed me to separate deep from superficial discontent. To recognize fully that the effects of change, no matter how sudden or prolonged, often take time for the soul to fully acknowledge and accept. Hell, the first Noble Truth is “There is suffering.” Yet, by the same token, I confirmed what I always thought to be true: our self-imposed, egotistic suffering is so easily dusted away when we look at it with full, naked clarity.
As far as birthdays go, this one was definitely…different. And, as my dear friend L would say, “interesting.” Not self-indulgent, not “Birthday Queen-ish,” like it usually is. My gift has been – a deeper awareness of…well... everything. Ok, that, and the surprise birthday cake from our neighbor-friend down the street! Love you B! You saved the day!!